8 slices white bread
4 ounces butter, softened
4 slices ham
4 slices gruyere cheese 2 eggs, slightly beaten 1 tablespoon water salt
fresh ground black pepper
1. Spread the bread with some of the softened butter, make 4 sandwiches, each with one slice of ham and one slice of cheese. Press them firmly together.
2. Beat the eggs with the water, add the salt and pepper to taste, and dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture, coating all sides well.
3. Heat the rest of the butter in a heavy- bottomed frying pan/skillet, when it has melted and is very hot – but not brown, fry the sandwiches for about 5 – 8 minutes, turning once.
4. Serve immediately.
5. If you prefer, although it is not traditional, you may place the croque-monsieur into a very well- buttered baking pan and bake in a moderately hot oven – 175°C/350°F – turning once, for about 10 to 15 minutes. It is easier to prepare a larger number this way and keep them warm until you are ready to serve them